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IFC, Center-Invest Bank Expand Access to Finance for Small Businesses in Southern Russia

Moscow, Russia, February 15, 2013— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of 900 million Russian rubles (around $29 million) to Center-Invest Bank to help it expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises in the Russia Federation’s southern regions.
This loan will help the bank increase lending to smaller businesses in less-developed frontier regions, helping create jobs and diversify the local economy. This new financing builds on the long-term partnership between IFC and Center-Invest Bank that began in 2002.
Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of Center-Invest Bank, said, “We are grateful for IFC’s long-term financial support and valuable advice, which help us provide our clients with innovative products. We look forward to further successful cooperation with IFC, with which we share a commitment to the sustainable banking business model.”
Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, said, “Regional banks have a vital role to play in the development of Russia’s economy. Long-term partnerships with regional banks allow us to channel much-needed finance to local companies, contribute to the creation of jobs and the development of infrastructure, and to promote sustainable banking in Russia’s regions.”
Since 2002, IFC has provided Center-Invest Bank with over $40 million in debt finance. IFC has also provided the lender with a host of targeted advisory services that helped the bank launch several pioneering financial products focused on energy efficiency.  
This new investment is part of IFC’s efforts in Russia to support private-sector development and encourage economic growth. The country became a member and shareholder of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has invested more than $10 billion in Russia, including $3.2 billion in syndicated loans, and has been involved in 270 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC’s investment portfolio in Russia stands at $2.3 billion, the fourth-largest country exposure for IFC globally.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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About Center-Invest Bank
Center-Invest Bank is the largest private bank in southern Russia, with 140 offices in the region. It has a rating of Ba3+ from Moody’s and 14 years of IFRS reporting. The largest shareholders are EBRD (27.5%) and DEG (22.5%), along with Erste Bank (9.8%) and the Vysokov family (17%). Its sustainable banking business model focuses on SMEs, women in business, start ups, young entrepreneurs, and energy efficiency. For more information, visit: .